New York, New York | What a Wonderful Town (Part 1)

Our recent travels to the US started with a loooong flight to our first destination. Anyone who is from Australia would know that living a free and wonderful life down under means that it’s a huge trek to get to the northern hemisphere. Long flights are just a part of travelling as an Australian, so there’s no point in whingeing about it. You just need to suck it up and do it. It took us over 30 hours from the time that we left our home, until the time we arrived at our hotel in Times Square. There were three flights (roughly 5hrs, 14hrs, 5hrs) sandwiched between transits in Sydney and Los Angeles. If you can imagine how tired we felt when we arrived at JFK in New York, then imagine how we felt when our $$$ ride failed to show up until an hour and a half after we arrived (that battle continues with Execucar).

New York skyline

Anyway, on to New York. It’s one of those places that everybody should visit at least once in their life. In comparison to my home city, New York City has around 5800 high-rise buildings. Mine has around 240. It’s been 15 years since my last visit and hopefully it won’t be another 15 before my next. There are parts of New York that have changed (9/11 being the most obvious), but a lot is still the same. It continues to beat with that resounding pulse of life that swells its way through the mesh of Manhattan streets. A continual unending land of skyscrapers, people and yellow cabs.

Time Square night panorama

We stayed in a hotel at Times Square, so it was a matter of stepping out of the foyer and within a minute we were in the thick of flashing billboards and amazing sights. We even saw ourselves, live and waving on one of the giant billboards. I love my panorama pic above.

Rockefeller CentreAfter a well-earned sleep to recover from our journey, we decided to head down to the Rockefeller centre. We’d been told that the view from the ‘rock’ was Central Park on one side, and along Manhattan on the other. The weather was wonderfully brisk and clear(ish), and the crowds on the observation deck were  reasonable. And my verdict on  the view is ‘incredible’.

Rockefeller Centre View

Then it was back down to ground level.  Wow, the tree was just days away from its annual lighting, to be supported by a  performance by Lady Gaga and the crowds were as thick as mud. The famed skating rink was full and I was a shocked to find myself embedded in a huge line just to get into the Lego store with the kids.

Rockefeller Xmas Tree

Rockefeller xmas tree

Lego line

It was busy, and I mean busy. We passed a bazillion New Yorkers and tourists ploughing through crowded sidewalks on just as many journeys. It’s quite a difference to the suburbia we enjoy in Australia. We had arrived the day after Thanksgiving and it seemed that everyone in the US was either on a New York sidewalk or lined up in a store to buy a bargain. The chilly winter weather was quite a change from the summer we left at home. It was so awesome to be amongst a population wearing jackets and scarves and gloves – something of a rarity in our part of the world.

New York style

Even though my research had uncovered that it was unlikely, we hoped for snow because our kids have never seen it before. If it ever snows where we live, then I’m sure we’d all think the world was ending. There was no New York snowfall – bummer, but at least the kids got to see a car in the traffic with a foot of snow on its roof and bonnet. It was their first fleeting glimpse of the real stuff. Something simple that will forever be a fond memory of New York for them.

New York Xmas Balls and Cabs

By this point of our visit, we’re loving New York. We only had a few days and there was plenty more to cram, like 5th Ave, Tiffany’s, 9/11 Memorial, Statue of Liberty, Madam Tussaud’s, giant toy stores, American fast-food, cawfee (coffee LOL), accents, dancing Salvation Army people on street corners and on and on and on. (Part 2 of our New York visit is here)

Be sure to take a look at my other posts about our travels as they go live, or check my previous Travel Adventures posts for the ones already published. If you’re not a current follower, just click the FOLLOW button on the sidebar.

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